by Joe Montoya, first published in Mystic Pop Magazine Photograph by Lynda Yraceburu, Maria at Chaco Canyon 2004
Quero Apache diiyin (HolyOne) and author Maria Yracébûrû has led the kind of nomadic life that’s reminiscent of her ancestors. A recent survivor of a lightning strike, Yracébûrû has been honored by the Inkan elders as “Laika” (holyone). She’s held in high regard by her community. She is a highly trained and trusted individual, instructed by her grandfather the late Juan Ten Bears Yracébûrû, in the task of remembering and telling the history of her clan. Maria not only remembers the past and traditions of her clan, but she is something of an entertainer, historian, priest, counselor, eco-psychologist, storyteller, and understands and teaches the meaning and origin of ceremony.
“In 1973 my grandfather crossed over and passed his power to me,” says Yracébûrû from her home in San Diego, California. “When I began sharing our earth teachings with others, it changed my life. There was so much feeling in the gatherings, so much healing, that I accepted the path of life my grandfather had led me to.
“So many young people come to us today, searching for a life philosophy that makes sense. I teach them about connection to the earth and her energies. A human isn’t a separated entity, we are all interconnected with everything that happens on this planet, so I share what my grandfather and other elders have shared with me. I’ve studied with the late Matthew King of the Lakota, who taught me his way of White Buffalo Calf Woman; from the late Rolling Thunder (Cherokee/Shoshone); from the late Buffalo Jim of the Seminole; from my late cousin Lincoln Moves by Night, who also taught me about standing in my power and how that can not be an act of ego.”
Yracébûrû started her first women’s group, the Butterfly Clan Womens Moon Lodge, in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also founded a spiritual community and has worked as a bartender, graphic designer, writer, as well as serving on Powwow Committees and raising money for the Gil Abeyta Scholarship Fund and various youth programs. “I’ve done what I could and I have kept busy all over re-turning people to a connection with the sacred landscape,” Yracébûrû recalls. “I spent summers holding space for people wanting to vision quest and doing sweat lodges, and winters writing articles, creating ceremony, and making my jewelry. In about 1996, I decided to leave the normal workforce and devote my time 100% to my community.”
Yracébûrû’s books Legends and Prophecies of the Quero Apache (Bear & Co., 2002) and her most recent, Prayers and Meditations of the Quero Apache (Bear & Co., 2004), have made her one of Native America’s newest evolutionists and storytellers, a woman with a passionate drive always searching for ways to help humanity heal.
“My grandpa was a holyman and made Holyway ceremonies. My ceremonies are for gatherings; they’re old, some of them thousands of years old. The Quero have so many different kinds of ceremonies - life rites of passage, festivals of joy, curing ceremonies, ceremonies that speak of life and evolution.” In her ceremony making, Maria Yracébûrû honors the Quero traditions of both Turtle and Heart Islands, while developing a contemporary style to help inspire and heal people - Native and non-Native.
“Some say there’s no life in the land, but centuries ago our grandparents used to go out into the canyons and live in harmony with All Our Relations. You need to open to the energy, then you will receive the confirmation you seek. I help people understand this. I believe all our answers can be found in Nature, I see them everywhere, and I pass this knowing onto the people. I help them discover that place within themselves where the holy ones come, and then that’s when personal truth is known. If you’re sick or lonely, go to the land, and it will help you recall the voice you’ve only heard echo in your mind. Celebrate life and be reminded of your connection, then you receive the blessings everyday that empower a hope-filled future.”
Maria Yracébûrû is a Native American ceremonialist who awakened as a channel when she was struck by lightning. She found herself looking into the eyes of her great grandmother, Naylin Lagé, and decided to pursue an exchange of information. Maria has an LLd in eco-psychology and is a prayer-maker and minister. She is author of Ah-Kine Remembrance, a merging of mythology, personal experience, and channeled knowledge on Pleiadian starseed lineage.